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Cops see bunkhouse overpricing

Manila, Philippines – Allegations of overpricing of bunkhouses for typhoon “Yolanda” victims have basis, the head of the police unit tasked to investigate it disclosed yesterday.

And that also includes the possible involvement of at least two government officials in allegedly taking kickbacks from local contractors, according to Chief Superintendent Benjamin Magalong, director of the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG).

“We have sources of information… and this will be the basis of our investigation,” Magalong said in an interview after the traditional New Year’s Call for ranking police officers in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

Magalong actually confirmed the revelation of former senator now Yolanda rehabilitation czar Panfilo M. Lacson who said that the running kickbacks is 30 percent and that an ally of the Aquino administration and a former official of the Commission on Elections are involved.

It was Lacson who asked the CIDG to look into the allegation that Magalong himself confirmed.

“I and the chief PNP (Director General Alan Purisima) have already talked about this and we fully support the request of Secretary Lacson,” said Magalong.

In fact, Magalong said they have already sent a team of investigators in some parts of Eastern Visayas where the construction of overpriced yet substandard bunkhouses is ongoing.

The official said the CIDG team have joined forces with the local investigators from the Eastern Visayas regional police.

“It’s a six-man team. Combined investigators from the (police) regional office and the CIDG headquarters here,” said Magalong of the task force they formed to look into the corruption allegation in Eastern Visayas. (Aaron B. Recuenco)